Two Las Vegas nightclubs where Leonardo DiCaprio and his “Wolf of Wall Street” friends like to party are being investigated by the authorities.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that the probe is in connection with the alleged theft of billions from 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
Investigators are looking at the spending of the Hakkasan and Omnia clubs and those who partied there. The clubs, at the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace, respectively, are owned by the London-based Hakkasan Group.
The Post said DiCaprio often partied at Hakkasan with party animal Jho Low who allegedly gave DiCaprio millions of dollars that originated from 1MDB to gamble with in Vegas, according to US investigators.
Also, the report said, Low had donated millions of dollars in allegedly stolen 1MDB cash to DiCaprio’s charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
The Post said DiCaprio, probably feeling the heat from his association with those named in the DoJ suits, was recently forced to back out of hosting duties for a Hillary Clinton fundraiser at his home.
It said DiCaprio’s spokesman, Shawn Sachs, declined to return multiple calls.
The two clubs, according to the Post, are known to pay big bucks to celebrities for appearances. For instance, Justin Bieber was paid USD500,000 to host his 21st birthday at Omnia last year.
Since 2013, DJs Tiesto and Calvin Harris have had regular gigs at Hakkasan for upward of USD500,000 a night. Deadmau5 made USD1 million spinning just two sets at the hot spot.
According to the Post, investigators are trying to determine whether the money came from “the same stolen pot” that backed DiCaprio’s 2013 film, The Wolf of Wall Street.
Hakkasan Group’s former chairman, Khadem Al Qubaisi, was arrested earlier this month in Abu Dhabi, where authorities have frozen his assets.
The Hakkasan club launched in Vegas in 2013, around the time that Qubaisi allegedly stole billions from 1MDB, according to civil forfeiture suits filed by the Department of Justice.
In September, US investigators will question a person in Europe with knowledge of Qubaisi’s finances, a source told The Post.
A Hakkasan lawyer told the Post that CEO Neil Moffitt had been subpoenaed and that the group was cooperating.
Justice Department officials said the case was rapidly expanding.
“International investigators have turned up the heat on Al Qubaisi,” a source close to the investigation told the Post. “They are looking at his entire career, combing through all of his assets and where his money came from.”
DiCaprio celebrated his 40th birthday at Hakkasan in 2014, as revellers sprayed the room with at least USD1 million worth of champagne, including USD50,000 magnums of Ace of Spades, according to rapper OT Genasis.
A Hakkasan lawyer told the Post that Hakkasan was innocent.